Akamatsu's J-Comi Tests Pay Service with Adult Manga, Dōjinshi
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Manga distribution site J-Comi will begin beta testing for a paid "J-comi Premium" service on October 1. This new feature will distribute adult, boys' love, and erotic and violent manga, including out-of-print titles, to users for a fee. For the beta test version, the service's monthly fee will be 105 yen (about US$1.40). J-Comi Premium will require purchase by credit card to prevent minors from gaining access to adult content.
The service will also provide legal distribution of dōjinshi manga, self-published works that parody other manga or anime. J-Comi will enter into agreements with original creators and dōjinshi authors to distribute their works. Under this system, professional manga artists and dōjinshi creators who draw from their works will each receive part of the earnings from the J-Comi Premium service. Because dōjinshi artists use material from copyrighted works, dōjinshi distribution has been controversial. This experimental program could benefit dōjinshi authors by granting them official approval to disseminate their works. In 2010, manga creator and J-Comi founder Ken Akamatsu announced his intention to include such legal dōjinshi distribution on the site.
One of J-Comi's goals is to helm innovative distribution projects in order to promote and preserve legal manga, including little-known titles. This is the first time manga such as out-of-print adult titles and dōjinshi will be distributed in this way. In April, Akamatsu also proposed a plan to "purify" or legalize unauthorized manga scans on file-sharing networks by adding advertising to the existing files, and J-Comi began distributing manga with this method shortly after the announcement.
J-Comi launched in 2010 with beta testing, offering legal, free manga downloads. The site has received about 5,900,000 page views so far, and users have downloaded manga over 4,000,000 times. As of September 15, the manga distribution site offers 103 titles in its regular service. J-Comi has been expanding its list of titles and steadily gaining users since its launch.